I was interested in all the buzz around the Tiger Mom. So when I saw the article on the cover of my Time Magazine, I dove right in to read all about it. And I have to say that the article made me think.
After reading the article, I asked myself these questions:
Do I slather too much praise?
Am I too indulgent?
Am I too lazy?
And finally, what's one way that I can improve my parenting?
For that last question, I had a fast answer: the television.
Those of you who've been following the blog for a while know that I love to create teaching opportunities here at home for Kylie. Here is an example from a while back. Right before Kylie started preschool, I started getting some resistance from her. For a few months after starting her at preschool, I pulled way back on "teaching" her. I was content to let her teachers teach and let me "just be Mommy" for a while. I think it helped our relationship at that point in her development. But slowly I started putting teaching back on our agenda for our time together.
But when we weren't playing together or having a teaching moment, I have to admit that the tv was on to one of the many cartoon channels. I would turn it on to entertain her so I could peacefully fold laundry or clean the bathrooms or cook dinner. Sometimes, she would keep right on playing and the show would just be background noise. Other times, she would sit right down and watch an entire show.
And I would feel that little ping of guilt. That "Oh-oh, that's not good" moment.
So after reading the article, Karen and I had a talk about appropriate tv time. It's interesting because we can't really rely on our own experience as children. Our parents (who did a great job raising us!) didn't have 24/7 cartoon channels and computer games and iphones to contend with. But we do.
So after a wonderful conversation (where I again marvel at how Kylie has two parents who will spend hours talking about a topic like tv time for children because we care so dang much), Karen and I decided to PULL OUT THE TV FROM THE TOY ROOM where Kylie plays.
We are on day two of it being gone. And Kylie has adjusted beautifully.
The only difference is that she wants more of me. Which is what I figured would happen. So we are reading together more, coloring more, playing with play doh and fusion beads. And I'm teaching more- more math with her abacus, more matching games and so forth. She's completely happy. I'm the one adjusting back to being needed so much.
She has two "free play" time for 30 minutes. Once when we first get home and again when I'm cooking supper. Free play means that Mommy is busy and can't play therefore Kylie needs to play by herself. Otherwise, from 12:30 - 4:30, I'm hers.
It's hard to know how much to give. I have some friends who tell me they rarely play with their kids the way that I play with Kylie. Other friends play (and give their kiddos their undivided attention) more that I do. It's hard to find the correct balance.
But I'm pleased with our tv decision. Kylie has access to my iPhone to play preschool apps from when she wakes up until breakfast. She can watch a tv show when we are in the car. And we watch one 15 minute show on our only television in our living room before her nighttime bath. We always watch that show together on the couch as a family.
This feels better. Healthier. Less lazy. We'll see how it goes.